Morning update from the Paddy Power Blog on all the latest betting moves in sport
`- One of the silly season’s transfer sagas has turned out to be not so silly as it turns out Robin van Persie will be joining Manchester United. Last night Arsenal agreed to accept £24 million from the Bank of Fergie for the striker who had a season left on his contract. For a long time it looked like Manchester City was the likely destination for RVP, but some intense work from the United manager in the last few days looks to have been pivotal in swaying the player’s opinion.
The Dutchman scored 30 Premier League goals last season and the prospect of him teaming up with Wayne Rooney is admittedly awesome, even if you’re a fervent ABFU. You know what the ‘f’ stands for. It looks like a great move for United, but it’s another example of Sir Alex’s pick n’ mix policies. At around this time last year he opted against signing Wesley Sneijder as it was too much to spend on a player so close to his 30s. It’s reported that the injury-prone van Persie (29) will today sign a four year deal at Old Trafford worth as much as £200,000 a week, immediately making him one of the club’s top earners.
It had an immediate effect on the Premier League Betting. Manchester United’s odds to win the league had been 12/5 prior to the deal, but that was trimmed to 2/1 following the news. Manchester City were eased slightly from 5/4 to 13/10.
– Fabrice Muamba has been forced to retire from football due to the risks associated with the cardiac failure he suffered at White Hart Lane back in March. The midfielder was “in effect dead” for 78 minutes that day and after consultation with cardiac experts, he has been advised to withdraw from top level football for the good of his health. Muamba (24) took the news on the chin, telling the Bolton Wanderers website:
While the news is devastating, I have much to be thankful for. I thank God that I am alive and I pay tribute once again to the members of the medical team who never gave up on me.
The Trotters have wished the player well, but the news is a blow to their hopes of a swift return to the Premier League. Bolton are 7/1 joint favourites to win the Championship and 23/10 to get promoted.
– England beat Italy 2-1 in Berne last night in what some people will see as some sort of futile revenge for getting knocked out of Euro 2012 by the Azzurri in June. In fairness, Roy Hodgson’s new look team deserved their victory and Jermaine Defoe’s cracking strike was worthy of winning more than just a pointless friendly. England begin their World Cup 2014 qualification bid in Moldova next month and are 1/10 to guarantee a place in Brazil.
Ireland drew 0-0 in Serbia, which was a decent result, but not something to suggest widespread changes and sudden use of a gung-ho attacking style after the disappointment of Euro 2012. The Boys in Green start their qualifying campaign in Borat-land aka Kazakhstan and they are 11/4 to make it all the way to their first World Cup since 2002.
Rafael Nadal will miss the US Open due to a knee injury. The Spaniard was absent at the love-in that was the London Olympics due to the injury and has failed to recover in time for the Flushing Meadows major which begins on Monday week (August 27). It’s helped Olympic gold medallist, Andy Murray in his bid to land his first Grand Slam title and he’s rated 13/5 joint second favourite for the title. Novak Djokovic is still rated as favourite to win in New York and he’s 6/4 to win his second Grand Slam crown of the year.
Kevin Pietersen will be free to send all the snide text messages he wants in the coming days. The batsman will play no part in the crucial third Test match between England and South Africa at Lords.
England need to win the match to claim a series draw and hold on to their ranking as best Test side in thw world. The hosts are 11/4 to win.